Archive for September, 2006

…. Talk talk

Bonds went deep again, and the Giants continue to tease us into thinking anything is possible after beating the Cubs and moving within 2.5 games of the wild card slot. Now only 26 home runs away from Aaron, it seems impossible to imagine him retiring after this season is over, (barring a recurrence of his knee issues).

As for the win, it was Schmidt earning the win, which means that Robert must be right after all. ;-D

Actually, you guys are probably right about Schmidt, or at least more right than I am. He is likely to get that 4 year, $40 million deal we’re talking about. I guess my point is more that he won’t be worth the risk to the Giants, who simply cannot afford to keep signing players to these albatross contracts. As for the Morris comment, hey, let’s be real. Sabean out-bid the Cardinals. There wasn’t a bidding war for Morris, and if memory serves, Sabean out-bid the Cards by a pretty good margin.

That said, even marginal pitchers have been getting huge deals, and Schmidt is no marginal pitcher.

UPDATE: So, how do you like that?!?

Suddenly in the mix for the postseason, as well as respectability; the Giants have caused me to lose all credibility. :-O

Seriously, watching the Giants rise from the dead makes me look like a jackoff.

Not that I’m complaining…..

…. Backtalk

Robert, my point regards Jason is that, despite his decent ERA and won-loss record, he has failed, repeatedly, to win games, or even just pitch well, when the Giants have needed him the most. Not unlike Benitez, Schmidt often reverts to throwing the ball harder and harder when he is in trouble, and just as often, the result is walks, home runs, and losses.

And yes, this last four game tailspin by the starters is just as “real” as the previous fifteen games of stellar pitching were. Virtually every team in the league will peel off a ten or fifteen game stretch where the top of the order will all go on a tear, or the entire relief corps will be lights out, or the starters will. Baseball is a game of odds, luck and chance shaken together with skill. Anything can happen for 15 games. For crying out loud, the Giants just won 3 of 15, and then followed that up by winning 12 of 15. Which team are they? NEITHER!!!! They’re the .500 team you get when you add it all up.

The Giants have a decent pitching staff, OK. Comparing them to Koufax and Drysdale defeats your argument a priori, and makes you sound ridiculous; sort of like saying anyone would cut off their arm to take Schmidt off the Giants hands. Yeah, well, in this world, Schmidt could have been had, but not for free, and no one bought him at the price he was selling for.

Will there be a lot of teams looking to put a four-year investment into Schmidt? I doubt it. He’ll be pitching somewhere in 2007, sure. But he won’t be the subject of some crazy bidding war, regardless of what his agent says.

Oh, and one more thing….

Comparing this team to the 2002 Giants is just ridiculous, laughable, really. The 2002 Giants had the best offense in the NL, arguably the best in baseball. They had premier power arms in the bullpen in Felix and Nen, a deep, excellent bench, and a rotation of Schmidt, Livan, Ortiz and Reuter. I mean, come on. The Giants are 3 back of the Wild Card? Yeah, behind like, 6 teams, and, oh yeah, they’re 5 games under .500 again. The ’02 Giants won 95 games, this season they’ll be lucky to win 80. Are you just arguing for the sake of arguing? Do you think if you keep me busy writing about this the Giants will be distracted and fail to hit the cutoff man?

You wanna talk about the Giants in ’06? OK, how about this? If the Giants would have gone out and got themselves a couple of real hitters, for say, first base, and say, the fourth outfield spot, they’d be in first place right now, even with all the bullshit that’s gone on. Instead, we got Mark Sweeney and a couple more career minor leaguers posting sub .650 OPS numbers. Why? To save $3 or $5 million dollars. Which is indefensible, when you consider that a season represents an over $100 million dollar investment.

But Magowan and Sabean went into this season knowing, knowing they would be fielding a sub-par offense, even though one playoff series, win or lose, would have paid that additional $5 million. So, great, the Giants starters are terrific. The Giants hitters have been ABYSMAL, something that was absolutely predictable, and it was planned that way. So here we are, in a season in which 85 wins will probably win the division, and the Giants have the pitching to get to 85 wins, and our offense, which could have been easily fixed about ten times by now, will be the reason they fail.

That’s your 2006 Giants.

…. Bumble, ad infinitum

The Giants avoided the sweep, after Morris barely avoided losing despite being given a 7-1 lead. In the three games in Atlanta, the Giants starting pitchers worked overtime, er, well, under-time, to make me look smart, combining to allow 21 hits and 18 runs in 12 innings of work, (a nifty 13.54 ERA).

Speaking of starters, let’s talk about Jason Schmidt for a second. He is up for a big contract this off-season, and I want to make it clear that he is not worth the money, no matter how he finishes this season. He is no stopper, in fact, he is the opposite. He is the guy who throws gasoline on the fire. The Giants came into Atlanta on a winning streak, with a chance to get back to .500, and possibly get back into the playoff conversation. Schmidt was useless, taking an early 2-0 lead and turning into an 13-8 blowout loss. Here’s some other Schmidt failures this season:

– On July 17th, Schmidt took the mound with the Giants at .500 and was blown out by the Brewers, allowing 10 hits and 8 runs in 6 innings.

– On the Fourth of July, the Giants were on a three-game winning streak, a season-high 3 games over .500 and playing the Rockies. Schmidt couldn’t make it into the sixth, as the Rockies pasted the Giants 6-1.

– On June 17th, the Giants were a game over .500, taking on the Mariners, one of the worst teams in baseball. Schmidt allowed 4 runs in the first three innings, eventually giving up 9 hits and 6 runs as the G-men were pasted again, 8-1.

– And let’s not forget Opening Day, a tidy 6-1 loss that got the season started on the wrong foot.

In the middle of the 9-game losing streak that basically ended the Giants real chance of winning their division, he failed to put an end to it, losing to the winless Kip Wells and the laughingstock Pirates. Sure, he won the game that did eventually end the losing streak. But the team needed him to stop the bleeding the start before, and he failed.

He’s won a couple of games in August, but his pitching line is pretty suspect, 37 innings, 35 hits and 15 walks, 21 runs allowed, 17 earned runs, 4.14 ERA…. I mean, where’s the beef?

Sure, everyone loses. Sure, he’s pitched some terrific games. Sure, he’s got a good record and all that. But he’s supposed to be the ace. He’s supposed to be the guy who stops losing streaks, and extends winning streaks. He’s supposed to be the man. THE MAN.

He ain’t. And he ain’t worth another 4-year, $40 million dollar contract, either.

UPDATE: Noah Lowry makes it 29 hits, 24 runs and a measly 17 innings for the starters over the team’s last four games, as the Giants lost again, this time to the pathetic Cubs 6-2.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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